A brief description of Urusei Yatsura characters:
ATARU: Unluckiest kid on Earth. Accidentally gets nebulously engaged to alien oni space princess Lum Invader. Extremely lecherous, and is constantly punished for it, doesn't seem to realize Lum is an amazing girlfriend.

LUM: Series mascot, usually in a tiger fur bikini. Can fly, has electric powers, has her own UFO. Lives mostly in Ataru's house, in his closet even. What she sees in that dolt everyone constantly wonders, but occasionally Ataru proves himself worth it. Occasionally.

The basic gag is, Ataru pervs on some woman, Lum delivers hilarious electric shock, Ataru is left a crumpled heap. But Ataru's willpower is such that he quickly recovers. Essentially it's a classic cartoon situation, and the show knows it.

To this is added SHINOBU. Ordinary schoolgirl. At first she's Ataru's former girlfriend. It starts out as a love triangle, but eventually Lum does become Ataru's actual girlfriend. Shinobu then sort of dates Mendou, then a rabbitsuit-wearing character from the movies, Inaba.

Shinobu is put upon a lot from all the hopeless male characters. When this happens, she becomes _extremely_ strong, which is at first a comic device to represent the depths of her furor, but graduates to recognized ability.

MENDOU is the local rich kid, who really is extremely rich, like, owns-half-of-Japan rich. Serves as rival for Lum's affections, although it's never really a choice for her. Has a whole army of suit-wearing goons to carry out his slightest whim.

In reality Mendou is nearly as lecherous as Ataru, but does a much better job of maintaining composure in public. He's basically the Reggie of the show, to Ataru's Archie, Lum's Veronica and Shinobu's Betty.

And then there's CHERRY. You might compare him to Jughead, but really, there's no one like Cherry. He's the short Buddist monk who is constantly showing up humorously in unexpected places. He's not on anyone's side.

As is maybe obvious, I never really gave up liking Urusei Yatsura? It sometimes has the problems any hyper-chaotic 80s teen comedy has, but it has a lot of heart. Ataru actually does care deeply for Lum, but is too stubborn about having her move in and take over his life.

I've seen it described as the prototypical magical girlfriend show, but UY is not wish-fulfillment: it's bonkers cartoon comedy, and obeys cartoon universe logic. Shinobu's strength is because she's *mad*, Ataru can withstand incredible injury because he's *that motivated*, etc.

Rumiko Takahashi went on to create Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha too, both also very popular, but I still like UY the best? R1/2's martial arts theme isn't appealing to me, and Inuyasha is too traditional supernatural anime drama, but UY is still great.

It's a cartoon and knows it, all of its characters have flaws but are still likeable, most of them (esp Ataru) are sabotaging themselves constantly, it's constantly surprising, and it's full of jokes but can also turn on a dime to genuine warmth. There! My spiel is done.

@rodneylives I also still love UY, maybe more than Ranma which I love and saw before any other Rumiko Takahasi. I was just describing it to my gf the other day

@rodneylives this looks like it might be any good?? I am tentatively excited??? thank you for sharing!

@elsilnora I don't know if it'll be good or not, there is very little information about the story except that it adapts the earlier chapters of the manga.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
mastodon.cloud

Everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct! Thank you. Mastodon.cloud is maintained by Sujitech, LLC.